Details have emerged of the circumstances surrounding Dean Jones’ tragic death, after the Aussie cricket legend died of a heart attack in Mumbai at age 59.
Jones collapsed in his hotel in Mumbai on Thursday, with fellow Aussie cricket great Brett Lee reportedly performing CPR.
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Jones reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest in the hotel lobby, where Lee attempted to save his colleague. Jones was then taken to hospital by ambulance but couldn’t be revived.
Jones and Lee were both in Mumbai commentating on the Indian Premier League for Star Sports.
Lee spoke in front of the camera just hours after the tragedy, describing Jones as an “absolute legend”.
“I think the thing we want to say about Deano is he would have wanted us to be here tonight,” Lee said.
“It’s pretty much the ‘Select Deano’ we call it. It’s Deano’s dugout tonight.
“He is an absolute legend. Firstly to his family and friends we send our condolences. It’s a real tough day for everyone, not only for his close mates … and the whole cricketing world in general.
“What Deano would’ve wanted is for us to come out here in the dugout, get it done, have some fun for the game we all love.”
Former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris, appearing alongside Lee, described how Jones had exercised in the hotel that morning by running down the corridors.
“That was his way of keeping fit because of course we are in the bubble here in Mumbai,” Styris said.
“Who would have thought merely a couple of hours later he had this heart attack or some sort of cardiac problem. It’s incredibly sad.
“He thought this to be the Deano show really. He’s on to me every day with new ideas on how we can make it better.
“So I think it’s the right thing to do to be here, it’s gonna be hard but we hope to make him feel proud tonight.”
Cricket world in shock over Dean Jones tragedy
A classy right-handed batsman, Jones played in an era of great change in Australian cricket.
He played his first of 52 Tests against the mighty West Indies at Port of Spain in 1982 with his most famous innings his double century in the tied Madras Test in 1986.
There, he spent more than eight hours at the crease in 42C heat and severe humidity for his 210.
It earned him not only a place in Australian cricket folklore, but left him on a drip in hospital after losing eight kilos and any memory of the second half of his innings.
For all his toughness shown in that innings, Jones led the way with his aggression in the white-ball game during an era where teams were still cautious with their ODI batting.
His 6068 runs in the format was the second highest of all-time when he played his last match in 1994, while his strike-rate of 72.56 was also brisk for that era.
He played with flamboyance, not afraid to walk down the pitch to bowlers, attacked when running between the wickets and saved runs in the field.
The end of his time in Australia's Test team was controversial, with his axing in 1992 still one of the most perplexing in Australian cricket.
“Dean Jones was a hero to a generation of cricketers and will forever be remembered as a legend of this great game,” Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings said.
“Anyone who watched cricket in the 1980s and 1990s will fondly recall his cavalier approach at the crease and the incredible energy and passion he brought to every game he played.
“This is a truly sad day. Deano's loss will be felt not just at home in Australia, but across the globe.
“Our thoughts and best wishes are with his wife Jane and daughters Isabella and Phoebe.”
Australia coach Justin Langer said Jones was an integral to the rebuilding of the Test and ODI side that went on to dominate the sport for nearly 20 years.
“What a great player and a great bloke. We are shocked and very sad to hear of his passing,” Langer said.
“Deano was a true legend of Australian sport and world cricket, one of the great players and personalities in a golden time for the game.
“His role in the team's World Cup win in 1987 and the 1989 Ashes under AB were a huge turning point for Australian cricket.
“His double century in Madras was one of the greatest and most courageous innings of all time.
“We can only hope to make Australians as proud of our team as they were of Deano, he will be missed by the game and millions of people around the world.
“Our love to Jane and the girls.”
Awful to hear the news of Dean Jones passing away in Mumbai. He was a wonderful player for Australia and he will be missed. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Deano https://t.co/AmVhQiNEe2— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) September 24, 2020
I can’t believe this news. So very sad to hear about this. Rip Deano, you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/Mc8h36gnWe— David Warner (@davidwarner31) September 24, 2020
Absolutely heartbreaking news about Dean Jones passing away.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) September 24, 2020
A wonderful soul taken away too soon. Had the opportunity to play against him during my first tour of Australia.
May his soul rest in peace and my condolences to his loved ones. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/u6oEY1h7zz
Shocked to hear about the tragic loss of Dean Jones. Praying for strength and courage to his family and friends. 🙏🏻— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 24, 2020